The Skoda Fabia has won the most prestigious motoring award in the UK – What Car? Car of the Year 2015, in association with Warranty Direct.
The Czech model, which also won the Small Car category at last night’s ceremony, scooped the main prize exactly 15 years after winning it for the first time in 2000.
What Car?’s Car of the Year Awards are the most highly prized by manufacturers and the car-buying public alike. Awards are presented in 16 categories, but only the best of the best can win the overall Car of the Year prize.
The winning Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 90 SE model beat stiff competition from 25 other vehicles in the overall CoTY shortlist. See the full list of category winners here.
What Car?’s panel of judges praised the Fabia’s turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine, which combines punchy and flexible performance with impressive efficiency credentials.
It also beat its main rivals in the small car class – the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo – for both space and practicality, while the technology that comes as standard on the Fabia includes a brilliant 6.5-inch touch-screen and a ‘Mirrorlink’ system that can sync with Android phones to provide sat-nav.
What Car? editor, Jim Holder, said: 'The Fabia is a fully deserved winner of our most sought after award – not just because of the fact it is a well-equipped and practical small car, but also because of the big-name rivals it has disposed of in the process.
'We’ve driven and evaluated all of its rivals and, whichever way you cut it, the Fabia is the most rounded small car on sale in the UK today.'
A full list of CoTY category winners can be seen at whatcar.com/awards, but 2015 winners include another Skoda, the Octavia, in the Family Car sector, the Audi A3 e-tron (electric car), Citroen Grand C4 Picasso (MPV) and the Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai – last year’s CoTY winner is still a favourite in the small SUV category.
Land Rover’s Discovery Sport won the inaugural What Car? Car of the Year Safety Award, presented in conjunction with Thatcham Research – the UK’s only Euro NCAP crash test centre.